Lucille Christian—for he was sure it was she—moved in
the room, and cautiously pushed the door shut behind he
" Perse/' her voice said, in a dry whisper, " Perse."
"Yes," he whispered.
She did not answer for a moment, then said, "I had i
talk to you, Perse,"
He pushed himself up on one arm, and peered toward he
in the darkness. As his eyes strained toward her, desii
welled up in him, possessing him like an exaltation. E
stretched out his hand and took her wrist. The flesh wa
cool and firm under his ringers. He was aware of the sma]
shafts of bone within it, and tightened his grip, pressing th
flesh upon them. With a slow increase of force, he tried ti
draw her toward him. Her arm stretched out from he
shoulder toward, him, but lifelessly, limply, and heavily, a
though it were the sodden end of a cut cable on which he pulled
She did not actively resist as he tried to draw her, but b
sensed in her the recalcitrance of inertia, a sullen weight ai
which he was surprised, like a man who tries to pick up 2
familiar body and finds, suddenly, that in its unconsciousness
or death, it seems to have absorbed, already, something oi
the obstinate massiness of earth. He felt a flicker of fury,
and with his free arm braced himself to exert his strength,
Then, even in the dimness, he made out how her hand,
below the wrist he clutched, hung limply and witheredly;
and he felt the relaxed, unresisting tendons of the wrist.
That momentary fury had left him, and the desire.
He released his grip, suddenly, in midair, and her arm fell
to her side like an inanimate object.
He peered at her, then said, " You oughtn't to have come in
"That wasn't what you were thinking a minute ago," she
" You oughtn't to have come," he replied sullenly.
" I wanted to talk to you."
" You oughtn't. Sissie will know, and she'll tell them."
"No," Lucille Christian said; "she's asleep, sound as a